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Hypocritical Judge

It was another Wednesday night which meant virtual happy hour. COVID slightly impaired my social life. To be honest, I have always been a bit of a home body…but the closing of restaurants was a huge bummer. Luckily, my new friend Ellen* and I found a way to still have some fun. Every Wednesday we would get on Facetime, drink wine, and pretend the world was not shut down. It really was a light spot and something I looked forward to every week.

We talked a lot about our relationships, past and present. I am not ashamed to admit that mockery of horrible dating profiles became a regular thing. (I mean come on; the main picture showed a man with a bag over his head…) At the time, I was being pursued by one of our co-workers. Oddly enough, Ellen had previously dated this guy and oh the stories she had! I dodged a man-child bullet for sure.

It wasn’t always fun stories though. She was still on and off again with a prior beau. The breakup ended messy, but she couldn’t stay away and answered whenever he reached out to ask a favor or to get together.

As COVID dragged on, our virtual happy hours turned into a Wednesday dinner at one of our houses. Not only was it great to try fabulous new food, but it was also nice to get out and be around another human. True to form to many girls’ nights, the subject of boys came up. I sat with her on the floor as she cried wondering what she is doing wrong and why he isn’t treating her better. This became more than a weekly thing. Ellen was still agreeing to spend time with him, and she was increasingly frustrated by his excuses for not picking up the phone. He wouldn’t respect her work schedule and conditions, expecting her to be available on his terms. She couldn’t even ask what he did the previous weekend without him being defensive. Where was I? On the phone, on Hangouts chat, and with Ellen. Listening. Supporting. Comforting. Offering advice. Why bring this up? Ellen turned out to be a total hypocrite and extremely judgmental. I just couldn’t see it at first.

My first clue was when Ellen finally ditched the loser and cut off communication. She had to get to that place on her own, and I totally understood. Ellen went back on the dating apps and met someone great, or who seemed to be at first. He had mental health struggles with depression. Ellen didn’t understand. She thought he should listen to her and "be happy”. I tried to communicate with her that depression doesn’t work like that. I also told her, hey, if you don’t want to date someone who struggles with that, don’t. However, she continued to see him and attempted to force him to cheer up. That didn’t work. It bothered me that she was so critical and assuming about what depression could do to a person’s willingness to get out of bed or communicate well. Ellen acted as if they were less than her. It made me uncomfortable, and I just didn’t want to hear her opinions on that anymore. I felt she was judging me too. Maybe she was. She certainly judged me and my relationship.

I started a romantic relationship with a guy I had known for over 8 years (which is a tale for another time). Like most fledgling relationships, it was great until it wasn’t. Until those anxious thoughts creep in or when one’s behavior changes. He was pulling away and not being very respectful of me. Things were going so well that I just didn’t understand. I started to lean heavily on my friends to help me deconstruct what was happening and interpret his behavior. To be honest, I only remember one time that I felt that really word vomited over Ellen. I guess it only took that one time. I met Ellen and another friend for dinner…which was really an intervention of sorts. I was in tears in the restaurant as Ellen said my friendship had become a drain. I couldn’t believe it. I spent months consoling her and I get yelled at over dinner.

After a day or two, I called her to talk about how my feelings were hurt with her approach. Ellen asked if I would prefer that she had waited until one day I called to chat and she told me fuck off. She said I wasn’t following her advice and doing what she said so she was tired of it. Not sure why Ellen thinks everyone should follow her instructions. That isn’t how friendship works. I tried to convey that I wanted to hear a genuine apology for hurting my feelings. I didn’t get one. I still haven’t and I don’t think I ever will. Au revoir, Ellen.

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